Mallusk and Randalstown highlighted in call for tougher fly-tipping penalties
South Antrim Alliance MLA John Blair has called on Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots to increase penalties for fly-tipping offences.
Mr Blair, the party’s environmental spokesperson, has called on the Department to review fixed penalty fines available to council in order to “crack down” on offences.
DAERA is currently reviewing the levels of fines which can be issued by local councils and is also consulting with councils on commencing powers under the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Act 2011 which will, if carried through, enhance local authority powers and penalties in relation to illegal waste.
At present, llegal dumping can result in a £2,500 fine.
Mr Blair said that he has outlined concerns raised by constituents over an increase of fly-tipping incidents.
He indicated that areas of Randalstown and Mallusk have seen an increase in illegal dumping during the lockdown period.
In a statement, Mr Blair said: “Littering, fly tipping and other forms of illegal dumping have a detrimental impact on our environment, biodiversity as well as spoiling our countryside.
“In recent times I have seen domestic waste, household goods and even animal waste product dumped on rural roads across South Antrim.
“I have called on the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Minister to review ‘polluter pays structures’ and increase the penalties for offenders. ”
In December, a number of cases of “large scale fly-tipping” were reported in the Ballyhill Road and Aughnabrack Road areas of the borough.
Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has said previously: “Fly-tipping is not only unsightly, but is damaging to our local environment and places a huge stress on our staff at this challenging time.
“We would remind residents to ensure that their bins are used appropriately and that recycling is optimised.
“All residents are responsible for any waste generated from their properties. Fly-tipping waste illegally is a punishable offence which carries a fine of up to £2,500. Three items can be collected free of charge.
“Our enforcement team will act on all information received in relation to littering and fly-tipping and we would appeal to residents to report any illegally dumped material with any information on the source.”
Airport Sinn Fein Councillor Annemarie Logue has described fly-tipping as “an environmental crime”.
In December, she reported “a lot of fly-tipping around the Crumlin area” and has asked about the cost of absorbing fly-tipping especially around Nutts Corner.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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